‘Losing a part of history.’ After 54 years, Mr. K’s closes iconic ice cream shop Friday

‘Losing a part of history.’ After 54 years, Mr. K’s closes iconic ice cream shop Friday
Mr. K’s started as a little ice cream stand called Zesto’s before adding a building at the same location in South End. (Source: RICHARD M. BROOKS OBSERVER FILE PHOTO)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - The iconic and beloved Charlotte restaurant and ice cream shop Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream in South End is officially closing.

A local institution for over half a century, Mr. K’s was known for its hamburgers and soft-serve ice cream.

Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream owner George Dizes told the Observer last month that the 1,400-square-foot South Boulevard restaurant had been listed for sale. On Thursday night, the restaurant took to Facebook to announce that its last day of service is Friday.

“We hope you’ll swing by for one last meal and shout out,” the post said. “We appreciate the many memories we’ve shared with all of you. ... We hope you’ve felt the love from our family to yours.”

Thursday night’s announcement did not say what would happen to the site next. The property is owned by SBLVD Sparta, Mecklenburg County records show.

“We hope you’ll swing by for one last meal and shout out,” the post said. “We appreciate the many memories we’ve shared with all of you. ... We hope you’ve felt the love from our family to yours.”

Thursday night’s announcement did not say what would happen to the site next. The property is owned by SBLVD Sparta, Mecklenburg County records show.

Dizes, 57, had previously told the Observer he was ready to retire. He and his wife, Pamela, who died in 2019 after battling cancer, had worked the family restaurant together every day.

To all our faithful and loyal customers: March 5th will be our last day of service. We'll be here 11am to 5pm. We hope...

Posted by Mr K's Soft Ice Cream on Thursday, March 4, 2021

CUSTOMERS WILL MISS MR. K’S

Customers were quick to comment on the shop’s Facebook announcement as well:

“I am literally, yes literally, crying,” one person said. “You were South End before South End was cool.”

“I am heart broken. Your (family’s) place was so wonderful. We are losing a part of history,” another person said.

“Thank you for the unforgettable experiences of walking into Mr. K’s that first year and the many decades that followed. I was ALWAYS treated like family,” another person commented.

Elsewhere on social media, CharlotteFive reader Elizabeth Tackett commented on Instagram on Thursday night: “This has literally been here my whole life. It’s like, one of the last things I recognize from childhood on South Boulevard. Really sucks to see it go.”

The shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

A BRIEF HISTORY

Dizes’ father-in-law, Theodore Karres, started the store as an ice cream stand named Zesto’s in August 1967 and later renamed it Mr. K’s.

A larger building replaced the original one in 1971 and the menu grew with food like hamburgers and fries.

Dizes joined the business when he married Pamela in 1997. She and her brother George Karres had bought the business in 1996 when their dad retired. Dizes said his two children, Louis and Mimi, continued helping out in the shop.

Copyright 2021 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved.